The series' theme song featured the cast singing Cliff Richard and The Shadows UK #1 song "The Young Ones". Throughout the series there were many references to Richard, as Mayall's character was a fan.

The theme over the end credits was written by Peter Brewis, who also created the incidental music on many episodes.

In 1984, after the second season, Planer (in character as Neil) reached No. 2 in the UK charts with a version of Traffic's "Hole In My Shoe". The accompanying Neil's Heavy Concept Album, a loose collection of songs and spoken comedy, included appearances by The Young Ones alumni Dawn French and Stephen Fry.

In 1986, the cast sang "Living Doll" with Cliff Richard and Hank Marvin for Comic Relief. The song, a reworking of his 1959 hit, reached the top of the UK Charts.

Most episodes had a musical guest performing in the house or street. By including the groups, the show qualified as variety rather than light entertainment with the BBC and was allocated a bigger budget than a sitcom. This helped introduce several British bands to American viewers, such as Dexys Midnight Runners, Motörhead, and Madness. The latter appeared in two episodes; they were under consideration for a Monkees-style show at the time.

Some of these performances were omitted from DVD release for copyright reasons. Some musical acts were also edited out for similar reasons on some satellite reruns.

Episodenumber Episodename Band Song
Series 1
1 Demolition Nine Below Zero "Eleven Plus Eleven"
2 Oil Radical Posture (with Alexei Sayle) "Dr. Martens Boots"
3 Boring Madness "House of Fun"
4 Bomb Dexys Midnight Runners "Jackie Wilson Said"
5 Interesting Rip Rig + Panic (with Neneh Cherry) "You're My Kind Of Climate"
6 Flood no band
Series 2
1 Bambi Motörhead "Ace of Spades"
2 Cash Ken Bishop's Nice Twelve "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
3 Nasty The Damned "Nasty"
4 Time Amazulu "Moonlight Romance"
5 Sick Madness "Our House"
6 Summer Holiday John Otway "Body Talk"